Kindle versus Kobo

I need some advice. Which is best – Kindle or Kobo?Prima December 2012 Winning Story

I already have a basic Kindle (without the keyboard or any of the fancy stuff) and I’ve just won a Kobo e-reader in the monthly flash fiction competition in Prima magazine (my story is in the December issue). The Kobo hasn’t arrived yet so I don’t know which model it will be but it’s supposed to be worth £149.

I’m trying to decide whether to tear open the packaging of the Kobo when it arrives and have a play with it, or whether to keep it all brand-spanking new and advertise it on eBay.

Because of its price, I’m assuming the Kobo will have a much wider functionality but what about the selection of books available? Does it have as many titles as the Kindle? I know that many authors who self-publish, only do so on the Kindle but the file format used by the Kobo is supposed to be more ‘open’.

Which screen is easier on the eye and is the page turning functionality as good on the Kobo as it is on the Kindle?

There’s an interesting article here from the MoneySavingExpert team. It recommends Kobo if buying for oneself but Kindle if buying as a present – but only so that you don’t appear a cheap skate by giving a less expensive Kindle substitute.

Conversely, Steve Fenton has written a great blog post here which compares the two in detail and comes out in favour of the Kindle.

So what do you think? Is one better than the other – or should I keep both (I’m thinking that if I ever get round to self-publishing an e-book it might be useful to see what it looks like on the two devices).

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  1. #1 by Debbie Young on October 31, 2012 - 9:47 am

    Well done, Sally, that’s brilliant! I’ll go and buy a copy of Prima, haven’t bought one for years but still have about the first two years’ worth of copies from when it was first published (hoarded for the knitting patterns!)

    I don’t have any experience of Kobo but do love my basic Kindle. I was tempted by the Kindle Fire until I realised it has a much shorter battery life.

    I think your plan to save it check out e-books is a good idea – I was just reading a blog post the other day by Catherine Ryan Howard who kindly shared her experience of having published her first e-book and NOT checking in in all formats, and discovering that on one she hadn’t checked, every paragraph had got its own page, making a 200+ page book into a 1300+ page one! Teetering on publishing e-books myself and it seems there are lots of unexpected glitches to look out for, so I’d hang on to that Kobo if I were you! Catherine’s blog and book about self-publishing are well worth reading (and are very entertaining too) if you haven’t come across her. She’s at (and she’s a fellow WordPress fan!)

    Best wishes

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on October 31, 2012 - 2:32 pm

      Thanks for dropping by, Debbie and for the link to Catherine’s blog – I’ll go check it out. I am tempted to keep both Kindle and Kobo (when it arrives) but it seems a bit greedy when I’m still reading ‘proper’ books as well inbetween the e-books. But perhaps it’s justified as part of the writer’s toolkit!

  2. #3 by liz young on October 31, 2012 - 2:33 pm

    Congrats on your win, and I shall read any comments with interest because I have yet to buy an e-reader!

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on October 31, 2012 - 2:37 pm

      Thanks, Liz. When e-readers first appeared I swore I would stick with real books but gradually I got converted…

  3. #5 by Tracy Fells on October 31, 2012 - 3:48 pm

    Firstly, well done on the Prima win – and what a fab prize! (Well done on Writers’ News shortlist too) And THANK YOU for this timely post. I am dithering over e-readers right now and really want to get one, but which one? This has really helped – thanks for the links to other blogs too. I too want it more for research on what ebooks look like and what’s out there with a view to e-publishing myself. But now my dliemma is Kindle or Kindle Flame, which looks more like an ipad…eeek

    • #6 by Sally Jenkins on October 31, 2012 - 5:20 pm

      Thanks Tracy -I was chuffed with the WN shortlist. Perhaps there’s too much choice with e-readers now – hope you make the right decision!

  4. #7 by susanjanejones on October 31, 2012 - 5:20 pm

    Congratulations Sally, will pick one up and read your story. I’d keep both though I haven’t a clue on what to do with it.

    • #8 by Sally Jenkins on October 31, 2012 - 5:23 pm

      Thanks for the advice, Susan – I am tempted to keep both.

  5. #9 by Patsy on October 31, 2012 - 9:51 pm

    Congratulations on your win.

    I didn’t realise Amazon books couldn’t be read on a Kobo – that does seem to be a disadvantage.

    • #10 by Sally Jenkins on November 1, 2012 - 12:31 pm

      Patsy, I think it’s a bit like when video first started & there was VHS & Betamax and they weren’t interchangeable.

      • #11 by Patsy on November 3, 2012 - 7:59 am

        Amazon books can be read on devices other than kindle though. Sounds as though the technology should work – oh well.

      • #12 by Sally Jenkins on November 3, 2012 - 12:37 pm

        Patsy – I was wrong. My Kobo has now arrived and it has an App for reading Kindle books on the Kobo. I haven’t tried it yet but looks like you were right!

  6. #13 by ann ankers on November 3, 2012 - 6:19 pm

    Hi Sally

    Congratulations on winning the Kobo. Why don’t you keep both? I would!


    • #14 by Sally Jenkins on November 3, 2012 - 6:57 pm

      Ann, that’s what I’ve decided to do because the I’ve realised the Kobo has a high spec. and can be used for much more than reading. It’s more like a tablet.

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